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Zipline hits 1 million autonomous drone deliveries, expands in US

Zipline hits 1 million autonomous drone deliveries, expands in US
Zipline hits 1 million autonomous drone deliveries, expands in US

Zipline is celebrating being the first company in history to complete one million commercial drone deliveries to customers. 

The drone delivery company first started delivering blood and medical products in Rwanda in 2016. It then expanded into food, retail, agriculture products, and animal health products. Zipline has delivered to homes in the US, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Japan.

Co-founder and head of software Ryan Oksenhorn says the company has worked over the past decade to build a system to enable one million customer deliveries. “Ten years from now, I think clean, reliable autonomous delivery of goods and services will be available to everyone,” says Oksenhorn. 

Zipline will now scale its commercial operations. In the coming months, the company will roll out P2. This is expected to serve more than 30 million people in 10 states within the US over the next few years. 

The P2 is built for precise delivery – leaving a package exactly where it needs to be – “whether that’s a doorstep or patio table” as the company puts it in the product description. This technology will deliver fast to homes. 

Drone deliveries in the US 

We see drone deliveries becoming increasingly popular around the world. Customers want items delivered to their doorstep, fast. This is evident to companies like Walmart and DoorDash, tagging on to the trend to offer delivery to homes. 

Franchise operator Flynn Group will now use Zipline’s P2 to make deliveries from its select properties of Panera Bread in the greater Seattle metro area. Greg Flynn, founder, chairman and CEO of Flynn Group says this will take the guest experience to new heights. “Delivery delays, especially in metro areas like Seattle, are unpredictable; however, utilizing Zipline’s state-of-the-art drone technology, we’re addressing those challenges and significantly reducing the wait times from when orders are placed, to when guests can enjoy them,” says Flynn. 

Food and medical needs 

Memorial Hermann Health System in Texas will use Zipline’s technology to deliver prescriptions and medical devices directly to patients’ homes. 

Alec King, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Memorial Hermann says: “Zipline provides an innovative solution to helping our patients access the medications they need, quickly and conveniently, at no added cost to them.” The companies are working together on all necessary regulatory approvals.

The hungry Jet’s Pizza customer in Detroit can now have their favorite pizza slice delivered to their door thanks to Zipline. Jet’s Pizza has over 400 locations across 22 states in the US. John Jetts, CEO of Jet’s Pizza says: “With Zipline, customers will get a magical and consistent end-to-end Jet’s experience regardless of traffic or weather.”

Fleet management 

There are several reasons drones are being used for delivery. The standout has to be the speed of delivery. Drones fly above ground and are not restricted by traffic. Another factor is deliveries will not be hampered by the issue of labor shortages, and they may be in flight during a lunch hour when a person has to take breaks – the drone does not. 

Drones are cost-effective. Imagine a courier fleet’s fuel bill at the end of each month. The drone does not travel on roads, so there is less wear and tear on the drone than a vehicle. Vehicles may also be stranded at a service center for a particular problem. Car repairs can be costly. 

In addition, drones do not emit toxic fumes. Drones are able to travel above rough terrain and provide an aerial route straight to the destination.

ALSO READ: Exclusive: Dronamics redefining middle-mile logistics

Photo Credit: Zipline

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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